The Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng has been known to provide energy, manage blood sugar and body weight, reduce stress, enhance working memory, support immunity, improve skin conditions, and boost physical, mental and sexual performances
Most of the time when you read about “Ginseng”, it often refer to both American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), which belong to the genus Panax and have a somewhat similar chemical makeup. Both Asian and American ginseng contain ginsenosides, which are the substances thought to give ginseng its medicinal properties. But they contain different types in different amounts.
Ginseng contains two significant compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits.
Siberian ginseng, or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), is an entirely different plant with different effects. It is distantly related to ginseng, but it does not contain the same active ingredients.
Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginsenosides are the Major Constituents of Ginseng
Ginsenosides have the unique biological activity and medicinal value, such as anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidation, and inhibition of cell apoptosis.
May Benefit Brain Function
American Ginseng has been shown to benefit mental functions, prevents neuronal damage and enhances cognitive performance — predominantly short-term memory.
Could Improve Sexual Performance
American Ginseng may improve sexual performance by decreasing oxidative stress in tissues and enhancing blood flow to genital muscles.
May Boost the Immune System
American Ginseng may strengthen the immune system and even enhance the effects of certain vaccinations.
May Have Potential Benefits Against Malignant Cells
Ginsenosides in American ginseng can inhibit apoptosis of malignant cells, helps to eliminate toxic effects of chemotherapeutics to healthy cells, and decreases sickness-related fatigue.
May Fight Tiredness and Increase Energy Levels
American Ginseng may help fight fatigue and enhance physical activity by lowering oxidative damage and increasing energy production in cells.
May Help with Weight Management
American Ginseng’s may help with weight management by lowering the absorption of dietary fat. Moreover, it may improve tissues' sensitivity towards insulin.
May Improve Heart Health
American Ginseng depresses cardiac contractile function (helped to reduce the force at which the heart had to work, while at the same time maintaining the same blood pressure), decreases heart rate and diminishes hypertrophy.
May Improve Digestive Health
American Ginseng attenuates oesophagus damage resulted from acid reflux and prevents the gastric mucosa from potential ulcer formation.
May Have Anti-Aging Properties
American Ginseng might have an effect on both the chronological and biological aspects of aging due to the antioxidant properties in Ginsenosides. Studies have shown ginseng may improve facial wrinkling by increase Type I pro-collagen synthesis, protect against UV radiation-induced skin damage, and up-regulate hyaluronic acid generation in human skin cells.
May Have Antimicrobial Properties
Studies have showed the leaves, roots, and hairy root cultures found in American Ginseng are all sources of antimicrobial compounds.
How to take Ginseng
Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten raw or you can lightly steam it to soften it. Most often ginseng can be purchased in various dried form, whole root, sliced or coarse ground. To which you can seep a small amount in hot water to make a tea, or added to various recipes like soups and stir-frys. Ginseng can also be consumed as a powder, capsule or extract. How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve.
How often should one take American ginseng?
American ginseng are most often taken about 1–2 grams of ginseng root (in the forms of powder, tea or capsules) or 200–400mg of extract are suggested. It’s best to start with lower amount and increase over time.
American ginseng is cooler in nature and less stimulating, thus, making it ideal for today’s busy, fast-paced, stressful lifestyles. It is better suited for younger, middle-aged individuals, and can be used daily and long term.
How long does it take to feel the effects of Ginseng?
Ginseng doesn't need to build up in your body for you to feel its effect. It could take as little as under an hours or up to 48 hours to notice a difference in how you're feeling.
Multiple research studies support the benefit of American ginseng at improving sickness-related fatigue. With a dosage of 2,000 mg daily, participants reported notable difference at 4 weeks, but a statistically significant improvement in fatigue at 8 weeks.
Should one take ginseng in the morning or at night?
Since both American and Asian ginseng can be stimulating (American ginseng is less stimulating by comparison), which can boost physical and mental energy, it may cause sleep issues for some individuals. Thus, it would be preferable to take ginseng earlier during the day.
While ginseng appears to be safe in general, people taking certain medications should pay attention to possible drug interactions. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have other medical conditions, please consult your health care provider for more information.
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